Usually, I would not recommend a book right at the beginning of a review, but I am going to recommend that every Apostolic read Fasting Secrets Revealed. Although there are plenty of spiritual insights throughout, my recommendation is based on two words “spiritual impact.” If there is something the Apostolic believer needs to read during these times, it is something that will not only impact but empower them to live in the fullness of the Spirit. Rev. Charles Rhodus reminds us of the critical role that fasting plays in the spiritual life of both the saint and the Apostolic community.
As one reads through Fasting Secrets Revealed it is evident that Rhodus is not a novice when it comes to spiritual disciplines. It becomes quite clear that fasting has been an integral part of his spiritual life. One of my favorite terms that are rehearsed throughout his book is “the serious believer will push back the plate.” With that one statement, he forces us to ask ourselves, “am I really a serious believer?” Pushing back the plate is akin to esteeming the heavenly things of more value than the earthly things. In other words Rhodus’ point is that if one expects to take hold of spiritual power they will first have to exercise power over the flesh.
While the spiritual benefits of fasting are inarguable, the motivation or the power to fast is often lacking. Why is this? In the first chapter of the book, Rhodus explains that fasting is coming in direct opposition to some of the strongest drives in the body. Even though fasting is not a new subject for most who will read this book, fresh insights into the subject of fasting help the Apostolic understand why fasting can be so difficult. It is not as if we do not understand that fasting is in itself is a struggle; what we need help with sometimes is overcoming the initial barriers to fasting.
One of the more intriguing concepts in the book is what Rhodus calls “fasting faith.” Rhodus distinguishes the size of a mustard seed and the size of faith. His premise is simple; the size of the seed has more to do with the character of faith rather than the size of faith. The point is, fasting increases our faith exponentially. Rhodus says it is, “fasting and prayer |that| helps unbelief. Fasting and prayer are what strengthen the faith of an individual.” While the connection between fasting and faith are not new concepts, what is new is how faith and fasting are conceptualized. Faith for the miraculous is placed within the framework of sacrifice; the sacrifice is the flesh. Simply put, some miracles, some breakthrough events, are waiting for a fast.
I will end this review with the following quote, “When a man or a woman can conqueror |there| drive to eat, |they| can curb any appetite or conquer any addiction of the human body.” In other words, fasting is the forgotten secret to spiritual breakthrough. While the book is full of insights and spiritual motivation it is not a laborious read. The book also serves as a source of motivation, it reminds the Apostolic of not only the cost of fasting but of the immeasurable benefits of fasting. For those who are struggling with fasting, it would be wise to read the book the day before embarking on a fast as a way of reinforcing the commitment to fast.
Daniel Bracamonte is the Founder and Editor of the Apostolic Review. He holds a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies at Regent University and is currently completing an MTS at Regent School of Divinity. He is also the Pastor at Word of Life Apostolic Church in Missoula, MT.